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18 November 2017 Last updated 47 minutes ago

PML-N in hot water as Khosa accepts Zardari's invite to join PPP

Veteran politician and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa File photo Veteran politician and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa

Veteran politician and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa has accepted Asif Ali Zardari’s invitation to join the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

Speaking to media at Khosa’s residence late on Tuesday night, Khosa said that he appreciated Zardari’s visit and that he had never heard of a federal party leader visiting the residence of a rival party’s leader.

“I am very grateful that Zardari has shown confidence in me. If it were up to me, I would have announced that I am joining the PPP right now, but I will make a formal announcement after consulting other friends,” he said.

“I have a long standing relationship with Zardari,” Khosa said, adding that owing to his strong connections in all provinces, Zardari will not be disappointed by his decision of extending the invitation.

Khosa reiterated that this was not the same PML-N for which he had faced hardships or made sacrifices. “I sidelined myself from the party’s affairs after the general elections in 2013. I have suffered and struggled for the party more than even the Sharifs themselves. I was facing jail time while they were living in palaces abroad. They still pushed me out of the party,” he said.

Zardari, said he wanted to work with Khosa and use his experience for the country’s best interest. “I do not want to speak against anybody but the damage being done to the country will be difficult to repair. I believe all political parties have to team up to put the country back on track. The current rulers have ruined the economy,” he said.

“We belong to this country, our forefathers are buried here and the future of our children is linked to this country. So we have to work together to ensure a brighter future,” said Zardari.

Responding to a question, he said he is not trying to break the PML-N, and that it is already broken.

“I extended cooperation to the PML-N just to strengthen democracy in the country. I never asked for any privileges but supported the PML-N in the greater national interest. I did not want early polls. I supported the PML-N just to stop PTI Chairperson Imran Khan, as he can be a great threat to democracy,” he said.

Zardari said he had told his friends that he would not interfere during the PML-N’s tenure and will only start his campaigning during the last year of their tenure. The PML-N has completed its four years and everyone knows what the rulers have given to the country.

“I am trying to gather all my good friends under one platform. There are several other friends who are ready to join the PPP,” he said.

He said that the establishment and other state institutions are well aware of what is happening in the country, while adding that the Pakistan Army had issued the statement in the national interest of the country. PPP is not in the favour of early polls and will try to defeat the ruling party in the Senate elections, he concluded.